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Gulmohar Tree: How to Grow, Its Uses, Benefits and Much More

Gulmohar, in India is present abundantly and almost everyone is familiar with it, that's why it is often referred to as the ‘street tree’.

Disha Jain

Gulmohar (Delonix regia), also known as  Royal Poinciana or flame tree or fire tree is one of the most beautiful trees in the world. It is perhaps one of the oldest ornamental trees grown with one of the earliest records of cultivation in India. 

Gulmohar, in India is present abundantly and almost everyone is familiar with it, that's why it is often referred to as the ‘street tree’.  Because of its ornamental value, it has been cultivated and colonised in several sub-tropical and tropical countries.  

The tree can thrive in almost all climate conditions except very dry or frosty climate.  Flowers bloom in between April and May and in around November the leaves start turning yellow and shedding. It has a shallow-root system, making it quite vulnerable to damage in storms.  The plant grows upto five feet per year and thus matures and develops pretty fast.  Flower color varies from light orange to deep scarlet and other intermediate shades too. 

Growing Gulmohar at home : 

Gulmohar needs quite a space to grow and is suitable to be grown in summers. 

1. Soil: 

As Gulmohar is a native to Madagascar, it has adapted to soils of every tropical regions.  Soil should be above freezing temperatures and have enough warmth. And have a right balance of manure and fertilisers. 

2. Seed preparation: 

You can grow Gulmohar either through Scarification process (the process of cutting or weakening the outer coating of the seed so that it can germinate easily) or soaking the seed in hot water for about 10 minutes before sowing them for better germination. 

3. Maintenance: 

It requires moderate amounts of sunlight. This plant grows upto 5 ft. per year so it matures and blossom very fast. In the initial growth stages, prune the plant carefully and regularly. This plant is extremely resistant to most kinds of pesky pests, so pests won't be a problem, but its wood is vulnerable to animals and insects. 

Importance of Gulmohar tree : 

1. Ornamental value : The reason for its wide cultivation is its aesthetic value.

It is found mostly on the sides of roads and pavements. The tree has a delicate aroma and beautiful appearance because of its excellent shade. 

2. Cultural value : Gulmohar is considered sacred in Kerala. It is the city flower of Selangor and Malaysia.

Uses of Gulmohar : 

Commercial Uses - 

  • The wood is used for fuel, the calorific value of the wood being 4600 kcal/kg.

  • Its flowers are used in producing bee forage.

  • Gulmohar tree produces a thick water - soluble gum which is then used as a binding agent in manufacturing tablets and also in textile industries.

  • As its seeds are quite hard and elongated they are used to make beads.

  • The seeds are used in making Pangam Oil which is used in tanning industry.

2. Medicinal Uses : 

  • Gulmohar has divergent medicinal properties like antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, antimicrobial, antioxidant, cardio-protective, gastro-protective, and wound healing activity.

  • Leaves have anti-diabetic properties, using its methanol extract significantly lowers the blood glucose levels.

  • The leaves have significant anti-diarrheal properties.

  • The Leaves are potent hepatoprotection.

They have flavonoids which help in protecting the liver from toxins. 

  • An essential oil obtained from the leaves has anti fungal properties. 

  • Gulmohar  is used in folk medicine to treat a range of diseases and disorders, including constipation, inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, pneumonia, and malaria.  

  • It is grown on eroded sites for erosion control, and for soil rehabilitation and improvement through atmospheric nitrogen fixation.

More on this:
  • What is the Indian name of Gulmohar?
    Gulmohar is known as delonix regia or royal poinciana that belongs to the family of fabaceae. It is popular for its fern-like leaves & flamboyant display of flowers.
  • Is Gulmohar tree fast growing?
    Gulmohar plant can grow up to 5 feet per year and so matures as well as develops pretty fast.
  • What is the lifespan of Gulmohar tree?
    The tree can live up to 4 to 5 years if grown simply & 10 years if grown from the cutting.
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